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The Brandon Hunter era continues for the Celtics as our boys in green will be donning the road uniforms to take on Yao Ming, Steve Francis, Eric Piatkowski and the Houston Rockets. The Celtics last played Friday night at home against the Cavs. The Celtics played, arguably, their best game of the year and won by 25, 107-82 in a game that was never particularly in question. The Cavs biggest lead was 2. Paul Pierce led the team with 30 points and also pulled down 12 rebounds, dished out 8 assists, blocked 2 shots, got one steal and had a mere single turnover. Ricky Davis hd 16 points off the bench and 3 rebounds in 28 minutes of action. He also had a failed attempt at leaping over Dajuan Wagner and showed more of the defensive hustle that he has been known for since coming to the frigid ice box that is Boston. Also, did anyone else notice Mr. Davis taking the vocal leadership role in a huddle before a free throw attempt? Good stuff right there. Mike James had 13 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals. Jiri Welsch played another of his solid games, except when he tried to dunk (In the words of Bill Walton, "What was Jiri Welsch thinking, if he was even thinking at all?"). The Czech had 12 points, 5 assists, and shot 5-12 from the floor and 2-3 from three. Mark Blount had 11 points on 5-7 shooting and 5 rebounds. Marcus Banks was the 6th Celtic in double figures with 10 points to go with his 2 rebounds, 3 assists, and 4 steals. As a team, the Celts shot 46.2% from the field, 44.0% from three and held their own with the best rebounding team in the league, losing the board game by 3, 52-49. The highlight of the game came at the end of the first quarter as Brandon Hunter entered for his first action with the Celtics and instantly grabbed the nearest rebound. He finished the game with 2 points, a rebound, and an assist in 7 minutes. Lets hope for many more.

The Rockets are 20-15 this season and 5-5 in the last ten. Most recently they defeated the mighty Knicks of New York 111-79 on Thursday. This was a rather dominating performance as the Rockets shot 49.3% from the field, 52.4% from 3, and 81.1% from the line. Six Rockets were in double figures (Francis-27, Jackson-21, Ming, Taylor-15, Mobley-14, and Cato-10). Wednesday night, the Rockets played a more Rocket/VanGundy-like game and lost to the Pistons 85-66. Steve Francis had 15 points on 6-16 shooting, as well as 3 offensive rebounds, 6 assists, and 2 steals. Jim Jackson matched Francis' 15 points and had 7 rebounds and 2 assists. Yao Ming put up four points and five rebounds. Mo Taylor played well off the bench with 6 points and 9 rebounds.

On the season, the Rockets have been led by Steve Francis with 17 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 5.6 apg, and 1.4 spg, however he's shooting a mere 39.2% from the field and 29.6% from three. Cuttino Mobley has been a solid second banana with 15.5 ppg, 4.4 rpg, and 1.4 spg. Yao Ming has put up 15.5 ppg to go with his 8.9 rpg, and 1.9 bpg. Mo Taylor has been terrific off the bench with 11.7 ppg and 5.7 rpg. Jim Jackson has played well with his tenth team, putting up numbers of 10.9 ppg and 5.9 rpg. Kelvin Cato is the starting powerfoward and has been putting up 6.2 ppg, 8.3 rpg, an 1.9 bpg. One striking thing of note is that the Rockets have FOUR starters who have started all 35 games this season and the fifth (Jackson) has started 34. Bostjan Nachbar picked up the other start.

The Celtics will be playing against a Van Gundy team that slows the ball down and focuses on defense. However, the Rockets don't yet have Van Gundy players and as such give up 16.5 turnovers per game, while averaging only 17.7 apg. By comparison, the Celtics average 16.2 TOs a game, but get 21.3 apg. The Rockets have broken 100 points in just four games this season and have just five individual performances of 27 points or more. They average 86.5 ppg while allowing 83.7. If the Celtics can make this an offensive game, they will likely win. Another thing of note, these Rockets are a team that the Celtics can rebound with. Houston averages 43.5 rpg, while Boston is getting 41.2 a game. If Boston keeps the rebounding close and gets the Houston big men (Yao, Taylor, Cato) running, the Celtics could score big and win this game.
 

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Hour till game time, any predictions?
 

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The bookies have the Rockets as 7 1/2 point favorites and the over is very low-- 179.

I can't remember the last time the Celtics won in Houston. It was quite a long time ago.
 

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For Houston a 179 isnt that low for the amount of points they put up some nights.
 

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Also if im pierce, even though he's played against houston and Mobley many a times, to get my fire goin im thinkin about the KU vs URI game in 98 to get me pumped up, but thats just me.
 

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I don't think C's will win tonite, but if they just show their heart out and play hard, it would be appreciated.

Hope to see Hunter more since JJ is injured.

GO C's!!!
 

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Originally posted by <b>h180ys</b>!
Doing a good job so far........

Banks is playing good even though he got away with the call.
What are you talking about? Eric clearly tried to hit him with his face.

:laugh:.
 

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everything is looking good so far, %'s are high and rebounding is better than it has been. McC is putting the points on the board, so i'm not going to say anything about his extended game time (keep that for later)
 

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I take back all the bad things I've said about Walter. When he's hot, he's hot-- a 6-10 Dell Curry. The amazing thing is that McCarty is guarding Yao, but instead of exploiting that matchup, Francis and Mobley are dribbling around on the perimeter. Let's hope they keep it up.
 

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Van Gundy will have a stroke if they keep that up against a
6-10/7-6 mismatch. Gotta love cat and the franchise for showing how to hog the ball
 

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:sigh:
we are getting killed on the rebounds,and are jacking up the 3's. They are going in this game, but ....well.....we've all seen what happens when they dont (and heard[seen?]) me go on about it.
 

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They are playing so well which I didn't expect against the best defensive team in NBA.

But I take it anytime. GO C's. Gotta win this game.
 

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That's the best 4th quarter stretch, the C's ever played.

Great win on the road for us, especially against one of the best teams in the West.

Message to Yao, WALTAH is better than you!!!
 

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What happened to Yao? What happened to Cato? With Francis and Mobley hogging the ball, Houston becomes a perimeter team. They made no attempt to exploit the Celtics' weakness on the glass-- and they paid the price.

I wonder if that is the first time Ricky Davis was ever inserted into a game for defensive purposes lol.
 

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everybody came up clutch, even Blount was dropping them in in the 4th!

nice to get a win against a western team
 

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Originally posted by <b>Big John</b>!
I wonder if that is the first time Ricky Davis was ever inserted into a game for defensive purposes lol.
Nope, he was already in the game. ;)
And it was because of speed.

Originally posted by <b>Big John</b>!
The Celtics have a very good record against the West.
They always do.

Now Random Notes (RN)

Pierce is not the guy who gets hit the most its Jiri. The guy made another hard fall in tonights game, this brings his season total of 27 games where he fell hard onto the floor.

Two [STRIKE]games[/STRIKE] wins to go before we can make another trade. "Call Danny" --- Tommy and Mike at tonights game commenting on Yao's 4th quarter doghouse.

If Walter keeps playing good for another 2 games Trader Dan might get more then a bag of peanuts for him....maybe two. The Human Pogo stick had an impressive offensive game.....it was his 1st in his last 5....again.

Pierce looked mighty good in this game, and just about when I was to say "he's finaly getting it" he makes two stupid moves. 1 horrible pass, 2 horrible fast break...where he gets a rebound and walks it up the floor with 3 guys ahead of him. Although he's made some stupid moves (especially those 2) he's had a hell of a game, he has kept himself under control, and wasn't dribbeling the ball much. Just one note Paul, STAY INSIDE THE ARC.
 
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